Boston at Tampa Bay

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Boston (55-36)011001210680
Tampa Bay (50-41) «14200200x9110

Zobrist's grand slam helps Rays beat Red Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon couldn't have scripted a better start to the second half of the season than an impressive offensive outburst that helped the Rays tighten the AL East standings.

All-Star David Price pitched six solid innings and Ben Zobrist hit his fifth career grand slam, enabling the Rays to snap first-place Boston's six-game winning streak with a 9-6 victory that opened a critical seven-game homestand against the teams the third-place Rays are chasing in the division.

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Maddon spoke with his players before a workout Thursday, detailing what he felt they needed to do -- particularly offensively -- to have a chance to remain in contention for their third postseason berth in four seasons.

"I talked to them about the one-day-at-time mantra. ... I like to reduce it to more simplistic moments or terms," Maddon said, reiterating that his team cannot afford to approach a week of games against the Red Sox and second-place New York Yankees any other way.

"I do believe if you're looking at this big picture and are worried about whether you play well for seven days or whatever it may be, you're really setting yourself up probably for a bad moment," the manager added. "You don't say we need to win five out of seven. You don't say that stuff. You play tonight, work the process. If you work the process well, you should come out on top."

Price (9-7) allowed five hits -- three of them solo homers -- while striking out seven and walking one in his first outing since giving up Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit at Yankee Stadium last week.

The 25-year-old lefty skipped Tuesday's All-Star game because of a turf toe injury, helping Maddon set up Tampa Bay's pitching rotation the way he wanted to contnue a stretch in which the Rays are plays 10 consecutive games against Boston and New York, which arrives at Tropicana Field for four beginning Monday.

"Our offense did a great job," Price said. "It was a good start to the second half."

The switch-hitting Zobrist homered from the right side off Andrew Miller (3-1) in the second, breaking the franchise record for grand slams he shared with Carlos Pena. Zobrist drove in a fifth run when he drew a bases-loaded walk from the left side of the plate against reliever Alfredo Aceves, making it 7-2 in the third.

Casey Kotchman hit a two-run homer and B.J. Upton and Sam Fuld had RBI singles for the third-place Rays, who continued a stretch in which they are playing 10 consecutive games against the Red Sox and Yankees, the teams they are chasing in the AL East.

The victory trimmed Tampa Bay's season-high, six-game deficit in the division to five. Kyle Farnsworth retired all four batters he faced, earning his 18th save in 20 opportunities.

Darnell McDonald, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia homered off Price for the Red Sox, who lost for just the second time in 12 games. Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis singled for the other hits off the Rays ace, who has given up five homers in three July starts -- one of them a solo shot for Jeter's 3,000th hit last Saturday.

Marco Scutaro's two-run homer off Joel Peralta trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 9-5 in the seventh. Youkilis added an RBI single off Juan Cruz in the eighth.

"The grand slam takes the wind out of your sail," Pedroia said. "We battled back and tried to make it a game. We did that. We played hard. They just swung the bats better than we did."

Boston's David Ortiz remained in the lineup after appealing the four-game suspension he received for his part in a bench-clearing melee with the Baltimore Orioles last week.

The All-Star slugger was suspended Thursday, along with Orioles pitchers Kevin Gregg and Mike Gonzalez and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. Ortiz answered questions from reporters, but declined to specifically address the discipline before going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts against the Rays.

"I can't really talk about it now. But at one point I will," Ortiz said. "I'll tell you what I was thinking. I'll tell you what I thought was right."

Miller, who won his first three decisions after being promoted from the minors to fill a spot in Boston's injury-riddled rotation, allowed seven runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Besides yielding the first-pitch grand slam to Zobrist, the lefty hurt himself with five walks.

Notes

  • The Rays lead the season series 4-2.
  • Miller was a third-round draft pick of the Rays in 2003, but didn't sign with them.
  • Red Sox manager Terry Francona said RHP Josh Beckett (left knee soreness) will make his scheduled start on Sunday.
  • Boston LHP Jon Lester (strained back muscle) is expected to throw off a bullpen mound Monday.
  • Red Sox LF Carl Crawford (strained left hamstring) began a two-game minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket and barring any setbacks will rejoin the team Monday. He played five innings Friday night, going 1 for 2 with an RBI single and a walk against Durham.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Rays' Ben Zobrist connects on his fifth career grand slam while helping end the Red Sox's six-game win streak. (Getty Images)
The Rays' Ben Zobrist connects on his fifth career grand slam while helping end the Red Sox's six-game win streak. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 5
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4111010 .315
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4231000 .289
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000011 .350
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4021020 .288
David Ortiz, DH4000022 .300
Darnell McDonald, RF3111011 .151
   a- J.D. Drew, PH-RF1000001 .228
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3000101 .247
Yamaico Navarro, LF2100121 .211
   b- Josh Reddick, PH1000010 .387
Marco Scutaro, SS4112010 .259
Totals34686211  
a-popped out for McDonald in the 8th
b-struck out for Navarro in the 9th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (20, Cruz)
HR - Jacoby Ellsbury (12, Price), Dustin Pedroia (12, Price), Darnell McDonald (3, Price), Marco Scutaro (5, Peralta)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (50), Dustin Pedroia (45), Kevin Youkilis (64), Darnell McDonald (10), Marco Scutaro 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Darnell McDonald (2), Marco Scutaro 2 (8)
Team LOB - 3
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Andrew Miller (L,3-1) 2.2577501 5.68
Alfredo Aceves 2.1200110 3.28
Dan Wheeler 1222001 5.52
Franklin Morales 1100000 3.43
Matt Albers 1100120 2.48
WP - Matt Albers (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Andrew Miller 85-51, Alfredo Aceves 47-32, Dan Wheeler 15-11, Franklin Morales 15-10, Matt Albers 26-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andrew Miller 4-5, Alfredo Aceves 4-2, Franklin Morales 2-1
Batters Faced - Andrew Miller 19, Alfredo Aceves 10, Dan Wheeler 5, Franklin Morales 4, Matt Albers 5
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Johnny Damon, DH4110104 .278
Ben Zobrist, RF3215203 .269
Evan Longoria, 3B4000103 .235
B.J. Upton, CF5121020 .242
Sean Rodriguez, 2B5010003 .223
Casey Kotchman, 1B4222102 .339
Kelly Shoppach, C3120100 .180
   a- Matt Joyce, PH1000012 .289
    Jose Lobaton, C0000000 .000
Elliot Johnson, SS3110103 .209
Sam Fuld, LF3111001 .240
Totals35911973  
a-struck out for Shoppach in the 8th
Batting
2B - Elliot Johnson (6, Morales)
HR - Ben Zobrist (11, Miller), Casey Kotchman (4, Wheeler)
SH - Sam Fuld (3)
RBI - Ben Zobrist 5 (48), B.J. Upton (51), Casey Kotchman 2 (27), Sam Fuld (24)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist (12), Casey Kotchman 2 (14), Sam Fuld (12)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Sam Fuld 1
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price (W,9-7) 6533173 3.73
Joel Peralta 0.2122111 4.10
Jake McGee 0.1000010 4.91
Juan Cruz 0.1211000 3.31
J.P. Howell (H,3) 0.1000010 7.80
Kyle Farnsworth (S,18) 1.1000010 1.95
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 121-70, Joel Peralta 17-10, Jake McGee 5-3, Juan Cruz 14-10, J.P. Howell 6-3, Kyle Farnsworth 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 4-6, Joel Peralta 1-0, Juan Cruz 1-0
Batters Faced - David Price 23, Joel Peralta 4, Jake McGee 1, Juan Cruz 3, J.P. Howell 1, Kyle Farnsworth 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25729
Game Time - 3:35
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Andy Fletcher